Curtis Campbell, Gleaner Writer
There has been renewed international interest in Sizzla Kalonji after multiple Grammy-award-winning American rapper Jay-Z, sampled his Solid As A Rock single on the Magna Carta album. Sizza and his production team have since been globetrotting on the back of Solid As A Rock, which has been sampled by two other American rappers.
Magna Carta has gone on to sell over one million copies in the United States, while the sample, called Crown by Jay-Z, has received equal attention receiving over one millions views on YouTube.
That kind of viewership has made Sizzla a popular name on the lips of several international promoters and has seen the artiste receiving bookings for several events worldwide.
According to publicist and booking agent, Theresa Small, the renewal has come at the right time because Sizzla is promoting his 70th album, The Messiah.
The iconic entertainer recently returned from Europe where he shared his music at sold-out events in France, Amsterdam, Paris and Italy. Sizzla then returned to the island for a brief stint at Jamaica's Grand Gala, alongside Damian Marley, before heading off to Trinidad where he performed at their Independence celebrations.
"It's all positive for Sizzla's career at this point because there is so much to teach the world. We are trying to teach the world through music and so we are travelling extensively. He wants the world to know that there is more to life than drugs and guns," Small said.
Following Trinidad, Sizzla was booked for Costa Rica's Independence celebrations. According to Small, Sizzla had not performed at the Central American country in more than 10 years, and it showed based on the response the artiste received upon his arrival there.
"All of Sizzla's performances and appearances were exciting. But in Costa Rica it was amplified and very breathtaking. The people of Costa Rica told us that the clubs are normally empty until midnight. But when they were told that Sizzla was going to perform, the club was packed from as early as 8 p.m.," she revealed.
She also said many of Sizzla's loyal Costa Rican fans simply stood on the outskirts of the venue and waited until the artiste was making his exit in an attempt to capture images. This, she said, Sizzla welcomed, spending over an hour interacting with fans.
"We were crowded by a lot of people and the atmosphere was hot. But with the love we got nothing else mattered," she said.
The artiste also recorded 11 songs while in Costa Rica, including two collaborations with Costa Rica-based artistes.
Also travelling with Sizzla on his international exploits are his producer Richard 'Breadback' Bramwell and his personal Disc Jockey, Anthony 'Alpachino' Williams. The latter, Small said, developed a fan base for himself in Costa Rica for his reggae dancehall mixes. She said the DJ is expected to return to Costa Rica as a solo act to play at some events due to several requests made by dancehall fans in the country.
Sizzla is now looking forward to taking his music to Japan and is in the process of negotiating a tour of another popular market for reggae and dancehall.
However, Small was not prepared to reveal much information about that particular tour.